The man identified in an indictment as Baz Mohammad, also known as Haji Baz Mohammad, is believed to have close ties to the Taliban and other Islamic-extremist groups.Accused of smuggling more than $25 million of heroin into the United States and other countries, he arrived in the U.S. late last week.
The indictment in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, unsealed Monday, alleged that Mohammad and a co-defendant identified as Bashir Ahmad Rahmany had conspired since 1990 with others to violate narcotics laws. Rahmany is in custody and awaiting trial.
According to the indictment, Mohammad in 1990 discussed heroin trafficking in his Karachi, Pakistan residence, saying that selling heroin in the United States was a form of jihad because it took the money of Americans and the heroin was killing them.
It said the pair led an international heroin-trafficking organization responsible for manufacturing and transporting hundreds of kilograms of heroin in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the AP reports.
The "Baz Mohammad" organization, as prosecutors called it, then arranged for the heroin to be imported into the United States and other countries in suitcases, clothing and containers, the indictment said. Profits were laundered back to the drug organization in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the indictment said.
The government said Mohammad was the leader of the organization and controlled the organization's supply of heroin. A.M.